Moving Forward While Staying Put

Moving Forward While Staying Put

By Christy Wiseman

woman serenity


We are edging toward the first year in this pandemic and as I mark another birthday, I realize I am edging towards eternity. It doesn’t scare me, it’s simply another fact amid a myriad of facts. I’m at peace with it.

What has changed is that as I meet old friends on Zoom whose smooth faces have become lined or whose bodies show an abundance of unneeded skin, I realize that what I love in them goes far deeper than appearance, and connecting with them, even in this limited way, or by phone or email is a gift. Hopefully they feel the same about me. In truth, I am just glad to see the familiar faces and to know they are still with us. They are treasured. Those few who have proved toxic are silently wished well as we parted. I’ve learned over the years that boundaries are important. 

This pandemic has caused a number of outcomes as we are obliged to keep our distances. This isn’t easy as human beings are comforted by the touch and the nearness of those we love.

In some cases this prescribed closeness to a spouse or partner has clarified those things we loved about the other person. In other cases, what it clarifies is that we have the wrong partner. In all cases, if we are willing, it clarifies to us who we really are and gives us the chance to improve the direction we are heading and the attitudes we are adopting as this silent plague stalks us all.

It reveals our true reality while we still have a chance to modify it. 

Am I saying this plague is a good thing? Yes, in some ways adversity can be a positive. It solidifies in us what our true values are and gives us time to correct the course. It teaches us patience and how to enjoy the things which previously had seemed inconsequential or which had gone unnoticed. Each day I give thanks for being allowed another day. A day in which I can notice how incredible nature really is, or in which I can reach out to another shut-in and open the door of compassion for their challenges, or simply spend some time with them as we share what is meaningful to us both. 

I’m lucky in that I like to quilt and to cook and I love to learn. The Internet provides master classes and YouTube tutorials. We can even order things via the Internet. I recently ordered fish from the Alaska Fish Company. It came with pollock. I had never heard of pollock, but it is a type of cod found in the North Atlantic, so I’m going to try it in a fish soup recipe that my dear friend Linda sent me. She is an excellent cook, so I’ll try this Asian dish with good crusty rolls and maybe share it with a neighbor, with an understanding that future invites, like the sword of Damocles, would be weighed by how he shares his opinion. He doesn’t need to like it, he simply needs to be kind.

I felt myself blessed during this pandemic as my youngest son, Tom, sheltered with me for seven months and I got to know him as a young man of 44 years. He had broken his engagement with his fiancée of nine years and they were both moving on. It was a good thing as they both knew it wasn’t working and they saved themselves a divorce by the break-up.

Still, when any dreams of a future family are put to rest, it is painful. The blessing in all this was that I got to know my son  in a way seldom available to parents as a child grows and moves on.

Tom is a positive, generally happy young spirit. He is addicted to golf, like his father and grandfather before him. He doesn’t like the pandemic, and sheltering with his mother for seven months was certainly not on his bucket list, but his kindness and sensitivity to my feelings made it quite comfortable for both of us and when his job opened back up, I was sorry to see him go. He is the epitome of someone who generally lands “butter side up” which gives me confidence in his future. After all, isn’t that the hope of most parents?!

Someday, hopefully soon, this pandemic will be part of our past.  While it has claimed so many lives, it has freed others to a more rewarding future, in ways they hadn’t previously imagined. 

May this time for you be a time of growth, of clarification, and of solidification of the values that will move you into a rewarding and positive future and may you find serenity in the now.


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